Casey Kaplan presents Judith Eisler: Riffs. Jarman’s Caravaggio. For the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery, Eisler presents a new series of paintings based on Derek Jarman’s 1986 film “Caravaggio”.
Judith Eisler paints cinematic close-ups sourced from her own photographs of paused film scenes. With a lifelong interest in film, Eisler often returns to the work of filmmakers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Derek Jarman. In consideration of the formal properties of light, color and space within a single film frame, the artist considers an image’s capacity to exist as both real and fictional. As each image undergoes multiple layers of mediation, Eisler’s renderings shift between representational and abstract. Working with oil on canvas, Eisler directs our view to the visual optics of cinematic happenings.
The film “Caravaggio” depicts the story of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s (1571 – 1610) life, filtered through the lens of filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942 – 1994). The script expands upon the sanctioned narratives of what might have occurred. If the film is at all biographical, it is in Jarman’s fidelity to the color, light and tableaus of Caravaggio’s paintings. Jarman either recreates or refers to a number of Caravaggio’s paintings such as Boy with a Basket of Fruit (1593), The Lute Player (1596), Penitent Magdalene (1594-95), and The Deposition (1602-03). The actors and sets are staged and illuminated in a visual style that echoes the dramatic light infusing Caravaggio’s paintings.all images © the gallery and the artist(s)